Trafika Europe 1 - Northern Idyll

Lars went into the shed where Hans stored his materials and found a few planks of knot-free spruce. He sawed off a suitable piece, ripped out the broken board in the side of the boat and used it as a template. Then he needed two more bits, periodically he had to run out and in and measure up, and saw and plane and run out and mark and measure. But when he had finished he couldn’t bend the board into position. Barbro came and said he should take the board home with him, wrap it in damp cloths and leave it in a tub under the oven for a day or two, to make it more pliable. Lars asked if she could do that, he didn’t want to be in the kitchen listening to Felix’s crepitations, he didn’t even go there to eat. Barbro said he would have to do it himself, she would find him some old cloths.

Lars said in that case he wouldn’t bother.

‘No, no, no’, Barbro said. He would have to eat anyway.

He went in with her and did as she ordered and glanced at Felix, who was lying on a couch and trembling and didn’t notice that Lars was there. Lars went back to the shed and searched for material to make a new rib. He couldn’t find anything. There were two windows in the shed, one facing north and one facing south. He stood for a moment looking out of the north-facing one. The sea was black and smooth. Like lead. Like tar.


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